Fighting stress: How you can help yourself

Many people thrive under pressure and having occasional stress in your life is normal. But if you find that you're stressed all the time then it can be a major problem for both your physical and mental health. Stress seems to be symptomatic of modern life, but there are still plenty of things you can do to reduce the stress in your life. Here are just a few suggestions.

Connect with people

As the old saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. Rather than keeping your worries to yourself, share them with a close friend or family member. While they might not have the answers to your problems, just getting things off your chest could go some way to relieve your stress. Spending time with your friends is also a great way to relax and have fun, which in itself is a great stress reliever.

Get some exercise

According to the NHS's stress advice page, physical activity is useful for relieving stress, as it can reduce some of the emotional intensity of your feelings, allowing you to clear your thoughts and deal with your problems more calmly. Whether jogging, a team sport or something relaxing like yoga, find a type of exercise that suits you and your lifestyle.

Avoid unhealthy habits

Whatever you do, don't rely on alcohol, cigarettes or caffeine to cope with stress. While these things may give you a temporary feeling of relief, they won't make your problems go away and in the long term they could damage your health.

Treat yourself

Even if it's just a couple of minutes, take a little bit of time each day to do something you enjoy or just relax. This could be reading, watching a film, going for a walk or calling a friend – anything that you feel good doing that gives you a break from the stressful aspects of your life.

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